Our long-serving Buffet car MBR2078 ‘Woronora’ has recently been treated to a resealing of its roof, a necessary part of the rigorous regular maintenance program which is required to keep our cars in ‘first class’ operating condition, achieved with the support of our long term supplier and supporter Davco. This government owned car is an indispensable and popular fixture in our regular Cockatoo Run and Hawksbury River Express trains which are run for the enjoyment of Sydney tourists each month, and has hosted thousands of local and international tourists while keeping them all well fed – no mean feat when considering it has simultaneously covered thousands of kilometres! It has thus earned itself well deserved facelift indeed.
With more carriages soon to follow, it is at this point that the Eveleigh Projects team wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to our equally valued, ever reliable suppliers Davco, without whom such ongoing work would not be possible. This November marks an astonishing 30 years that we have been using their Ormonoid Silvershield™ product to seal the roofs on our heritage rollingstock, and it has withstood the rigours and challenges of life ‘on the road’ with great aplomb, as well as looking fantastic to boot! In addition to being an important supplier, Davco is also a proud supporter of 3801 Limited, for which we are most grateful. We will certainly continue to seal the roofs of our carriages using Davco’s Ormonoid Silvershield™, and look forward to appreciating the benefits of its excellent protective finish and weatherproofing performance qualities for some time to come. Cheers guys – here’s to another 30 years!
Our Eveleigh Projects volunteers have recently spent a weekend working on the iconic Red Rattler carriage situated in the Australian Technology Park. Known as a ‘Sputnik’ power car, of late 1950s vintage and having been manufactured by Comeng in Granville, C3704 has stood sentinel inside the gate since the ATP’s inception in 1995 and has functioned invaluably as the office for 3801 Limited. However, some years of relentless 24/7 exposure to the elements had understandably begun to take its toll on the old stalwart of late, so it was decided that it was once again time re-seal the roof of the car, both to maintain appearances and ensure it was kept fully weathertight and functional.
To this end, our fantastic suppliers at Blackwoods and Tremco most generously donated their Brushable Hydroseal to re-seal the carriage roof. Brushable Hydroseal is a heavy bituminous, fibre reinforced, rust inhibiting sealing compound, and is specially designed to be brushed thickly to any surface. When dry, the Hydroseal is tough and waterproof, and possesses excellent weathering qualities. The Australian sun certainly has put the product to the test over the years and we can most definitely attest to its effectiveness for the job at hand! After a couple of days’ work, the car not only looks vastly better than it has in some time, but is also now far better equipped to stand up to the elements for some years to come. Now for the bodywork we suppose… Watch this space!
3801 Limited gratefully acknowledges and appreciates the ongoing support of Blackwoods and Tremco with our rollingstock projects:
Following on from our last post about the disassembly and preparation of the compartment fans in the XBS, work has subsequently progressed on their finishing and reassembly. As always, in the interests of recording the process for posterity (and to assist the next poor souls who decide that refurbishing a set of 24V fans might be a fun way to kill a week or three), we have set out the steps involved in getting the fans to their current state. For the best finish, the disassembled components were left to sit for a fortnight or so following paint stripping. This ensured that any residue had ample time to cure before painting, and would ensure the best possible adhesion of the paint system. Following a quick once over with some phosphoric acid to treat any surface rust, the components each received 2 healthy coats of etch grey primer. This was then followed by two coats of Metal Shield Epoxy Enamel in Classic Cream, with the exception of the fan blades which were painted silver. As usual, the paint was supplied by our good friends at Dulux.
After leaving this to sit for 24 hours, reassembly was commenced. The plates were easily re-attached by tapping in a couple of small metal push rivets – and not even these escaped the onslaught of Classic Cream! With hindsight, it would have been nice also to have gone to the lengths of removing the plates when restoring the CAM fans (https://eastcoastheritagerail.com.au/cam10/), as it’s a gauge of the quality of the restoration project, with few carriages receiving such a thorough going over as this one is having. The devil’s in the detail – and in this case it’s a credit to the dedication of the skilled team at Eveleigh Projects, always ensuring jobs such as this are done to the best of their ability and to the highest standards.
On observation of the plates, it’s interesting to note that while the fans in the CAM were manufactured by Stones of England, those in the XBS are home grown – having been made by Elcon in Australia. Following these, next up next for reattachment are the speed controller handle and the fan motor cradle. It never ceases to amaze us how easily these things can fit back together after a bit of tlc, especially given that the fans were temperamental to say the least during the disassembly leg! But now comes the tricky bit – after going the extra mile previously in removing the stator (refer to the earlier fan post below) to allow the components to be fully treated and restored, it needed now to be reinstated in its rightful place. In the end this was achieved with a bit of signature railway “gentle persuasion”, courtesy of a small mallet and drift. But would it work after having been disturbed from its resting place of the better part of eight decades?
First, the brush contact mounts were refitted to the motor casing and leads then run to each, one for positive and the other for negative. The motor was then reassembled with little difficulty, being held together by just 2 threaded bolts, before being tested using (appropriately enough) a stalwart 12V transformer pilfered from the model railway. Performing these little projects away from Eveleigh at private workshops really helps the project progress, as you certainly couldn’t find one of those in The Large… But the result: good news! It works on 12V, so will be fine for 24V carriage voltage later on.
Having passed the test with flying colours, the motor is then mounted in its cradle, a process which for this style of fan is a ‘breeze’, using 2 simple plugs to allow the fan motor to be easily removed from the cradle. New electrical leads were also fitted at this point to allow for reconnection to the carriage electrical supply upon reinstallation. This is followed by the fitting of the caps to seal in the motor brushes and the four brackets to attach the fan grill, and we’re now ready for the final check.
The variable speed controller works, adjusting the RPMs as it should – so once the grill returns from the chrome platers it will be reinstalled, making this fan complete and ready for interim storage prior to reinstallation later in the project. So now onto the next fan, and at this point a side-by-side comparison exemplifies both the quality of the restoration and scope of the skills which are alive and well among the volunteers of Eveleigh Projects team – the fan has been subjected to a miraculous restoration in its own right!
Keep an eye out for further XBS updates in the coming days…